charitable accounts

In Lieu of Flowers—Donating to Memorial & Charitable Accounts

When hardships & losses affect you or someone you care about, there are always financial implications and many wish to offer monetary contributions to a family or cause. There are many different crowdfunding options online, such as Go Fund Me and You Caring, that can collect funds. But they charge fees or payment processing costs, which take a cut out of the proceeds. By contrast, when you use America First memorial and charitable accounts, the recipient gets every cent raised. Plus, the money is safe in a financial institution you know and trust.

Setting it Up

The main difference between charitable and memorial accounts is that the former is created for living persons, whereas the latter honors someone who passed away. Other than that, these two savings accounts function in the same manner. Anyone who qualifies for America First membership can open an account and whoever is established as the owner has access to the funds.

Many people use these types of accounts to help with medical bills, support a family after the death of the primary breadwinner, and in similar ways. Charitable accounts can also act as the collector of a 5K run’s proceeds or a donation box for the new roof of a local business. They can be open as long as needed, but keep in mind that they do earn interest. Since the owner’s Social Security number is attached, he or she would have to claim that as income.

Chipping In

Anyone can donate to America First charitable accounts. All that is needed is the account name and/or number. People can use their financial institution’s bill paying feature to transfer funds, contribute in-person at any of branch, send a check in the mail, or call 1-800-999‐3961.

We offer donation receipts for the contributor and the recipient. However, please note that America First doesn’t monitor where the money goes after it’s collected. We only receive the deposits and hold them for the beneficiary. Account owners are responsible for managing the funds.

It’s important to be cautious when you contribute to any charitable cause. Do your research before donating, get a receipt when possible, and monitor when the money’s debited from your account. Being vigilant can help you aid people in need monetarily without putting yourself in financial danger.

summer vacation

Stay & Save on Your Summer Vacation

Your summer vacation doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, you can always get away without going far, enjoying events & entertainment without extensive travel expenses or costly hotel stays. Plus, when you use your Visa® from America First, you’ll get additional savings at several local venues, such as:

Lagoon

Although it’s over 130 years old, this amusement park in Farmington, Utah is constantly growing, improving and inventing new ways to thrill. It features over 50 rides for both children and adults including Cannibal, Colossus — The Fire Dragon, Jet Star 2, Wild Mouse and Wicked. Also, be sure to step into the past at Pioneer Village, and beat the heat at the Lagoon-A-Beach water park.

America First Visa perk: $8 off general admission every Wednesday in July

Megaplex

Since 1999, Larry H. Miller’s Megaplex Theaters have revolutionized the movie-going experience. With almost 20 locations and 200 screens in Utah and Nevada, this popular chain showcases the latest films using cutting-edge technology. While you’re watching a movie in IMAX® 3D at the Megaplex, you can get a deluxe meal from the in-house food court.

America First Visa perk: Matinee pricing every Monday night at the ticket counter

SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium

At SeaQuest, visitors are encouraged to interact with the animals. You can swim with the stingrays or dip your feet into the exfoliating fish spa. And it’s more than just sea life. You can also pet iguanas, feed macaws & talk with mermaids. Take the whole family to SeaQuest in Layton, Utah or Las Vegas, Nevada locations.

America First Visa perk: $7 off single-ticket discounts on Tuesdays & half-price annual passes

Cowabunga Bay

Bring the beach directly to your family. Located in Draper, Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada, Cowabunga Bay gives you a variety of intertwining waterslides and hundreds of interactive water toys. You can even let your kids splash around as you relax with food and drinks delivered directly to your private cabana.

America First Visa perk: $5 discount in Draper or $15 discount in Vegas on general or military admission

Cherry Hill

Cherry Hill combines every summer activity into one park in Kaysville, Utah. Work up a sweat climbing on The Rock or putting around the miniature golf course, then cool off on the Double Dragons waterslides or Grant’s Gulch lazy river. Then, when you’re all tuckered out, you can climb in your RV or set up a tent and camp on one of 180 sites.

America First Visa perk: $5 off the all-access King of the Hill pass

These are only a few of the ways you can save during your summer vacation. Check out our Visa benefits page to see more discounts and offers you’ll get for using your America First Visa credit & debit cards.

Let Us Know Before You Go

It’s that time again: family vacations, day excursions, maybe even the trip you’ve been planning for years. And there’s no better way to pay for these opportunities than with your America First Visa® cards.

But before you leave, please inform us so we can safeguard your resources.

Call 1-800-999-3961 or log in to free online banking. Use the Other Services tab and look for the Visa traveling form in the bottom-left corner.

You can also visit this link for further information about protecting your finances.

Remember to Regularly Review Your Account Beneficiaries

It makes good financial sense to routinely check & update your America First beneficiaries. You designate who will receive your resources and it’s important to ensure your payable-on-death and individual retirement account (IRA) information is correct.

Many life changes can affect who you want to benefit from your accounts. If you’re newly married, had a child, been divorced or experienced the loss of immediate family member, it’s important to review these individuals.

Payable-on-death designees have rights to funds after all account owners and joint owners have passed. For IRAs, both primary and contingent beneficiaries may be added with corresponding percentages.

For help with beneficiary designations or if you have questions, please contact us or stop by your local branch.

United We Stand

By John B. Lund, President and Chief Executive Officer

I’m extremely fortunate to live in a small, rural mountain town where the air is clean, the scenery is beautiful, and the people are friendly, hard-working & service-oriented. Lovely patriotic scenes are painted on the sides of two local barns, illustrating pride of country and patriotism.

The community is also known for our annual Independence Day celebration held in and around the park. A flag-raising ceremony marks the sunrise, followed by 5K and 10K races, a delicious freshly cooked breakfast, and a parade around the town square. There are games for the kids, local works of art, crafts, a patriotic program, music, and lots of food is available throughout the day. Our Fourth of July culminates with a fantastic display of fireworks.

This year, my wife was asked to help with the planning and coordination of the parade. It is a real down-home event, featuring children on bicycles, family-decorated floats, marching school bands & cheer squads, vintage tractors and cars, American Legionnaires, horses, fire engines, police vehicles, candy tossed to the kids, and a local citizen being honored as grand marshal.

The parade theme for 2017 is United We Stand—three simple but powerful words. United means acting in harmony as a single unit. We is descriptive of a collective group. To me, Stand denotes life, accomplishment, being steadfast, integrity, and purpose. Individuals are different in many ways, but working together, we become much more powerful and better off as families, neighbors, communities, and as a nation.

I am so grateful for those who continue to stand united in preserving our freedoms, opportunity, peace, and security. To honor this great nation and our servicemen and servicewomen each summer is most certainly appropriate.

America First Credit Union was founded in 1939 by a group of 59 pioneering individuals who also stood united to improve the economic well-being of one another. Since those humble beginnings, generations of individuals, families, and businesses have benefited from superior financial services, better rates on loans & deposits, premier technology, many free or low-cost services, tremendous convenience, and a sense of belonging.

On behalf of the dedicated volunteers and staff of America First, I thank you for your membership, loyalty, and allowing us to serve your complete financial needs. We look forward to a lifelong relationship.

Don’t Let a Getaway Give You Unnecessary Financial Stress

For many, summer vacation planning is done according to a reasonable budget. You research flights, accommodations & destinations; you book the lower-priced alternatives; and you weigh the cost against your savings accumulated specifically for this purpose.

Then you arrive and financial responsibility goes out the window. You’re soon spending without limits and paying no heed to the costs of extras & incidentals. Before you embark this year, here are some tips to consider:

  • Have a goal. Do you want a full two weeks away in another part of the country or would a long weekend at a state park give you the rest & relaxation you need? Think about this issue before you start digging into the details.
  • You’re in control. Where to go and how much to spend is up to you. Take a vacation you can afford and live within your means while you’re there.
  • Go beyond the initial price tag. We all encounter hidden costs, fees, and taxes that come with hotel stays and airline tickets. Don’t forget these things when you’re drawing up your balance sheet.
  • Look ahead. When you get home, begin putting money aside for the next trip. A great way to do this is with a dedicated savings account from America First. With this option, you’ll benefit from competitive returns, convenience & flexibility, and more.

Visit us here for more information about achieving financial health.

send money online

Six Easy Ways to Send Money Online

Not too long ago, when a restaurant check was brought to a group of friends, everyone would chip in with cash. In fact, many people today still think they need bills to pay people back. But you can now send money online to friends and family with any of the following simple and secure options.

PayPal & Venmo

PayPal is probably the most well-known peer-to-peer payment system, with over 197 million active accounts. And while many use it to make purchases online, you can also transfer money to someone else with it. If the sender and recipient both have PayPal accounts with a financial institution, there aren’t any fees unless you’re sending funds to another country. Venmo is owned by PayPal and offers many of the same services. Plus, it allows you to post payments with commentary to your social feed, which your friends can see.

Google Wallet

If you have a Google account, you have access to Google Wallet, letting you send money online to other people via email addresses or phone numbers. There are no fees and it can be used for occasional commercial transactions, but corporations and non-profit organizations cannot receive money through Google Wallet.

Popmoney

Paying with Popmoney is easy. All you need is the recipient’s email address or mobile number. You can also send personalized greetings for special occasions like birthdays, weddings or graduations. Future-date payments are available for rent and other bills. Going to Popmoney.com costs $0.95 per transaction. But for America First members, Popmoney is free!

Facebook Messenger

Did you know you can do more than send funny GIFs in Messenger? Transferring money is easy once you have a debit card attached to your Facebook account. Just open a conversation with a Facebook friend, click the dollar sign symbol at the bottom of the chat window, enter the amount you want to send, then select Pay. Use the same button to request funds. You can also create a PIN to add an extra layer of security.

Snapcash

Send some money along with your pics using SnapChat. Attach your debit card to the account, swipe right on a friend’s name — just as you would to chat with them — and type a dollar sign and the amount. This will make the green Snapcash button appear, giving you the ability to send money online to any of your contacts. If funds aren’t claimed within 24 hours, they’re returned to the sender.

So the next time you need to split a lunch tab or pitch in for a gift, there’s no need to pull out your wallet or run by an ATM. Use one of these services and take care of it with your phone.

farmers' market

Farmers’ Market Shopping Guide

Farmers’ markets are a great way to find fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and more in your neighborhood. They allow you to interact directly with the grower, which can also mean lower prices for delicious produce. If you’ve never been to a farmers’ market before, or if you’re only starting to attend, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your time there.

Before you go

Get to know the local fruits and vegetables in your region and find out what grows in which season. This will help you identify the freshest produce. For example, you may see apples in April that you know have been in cold storage since October. Knowing when and what farmers grow locally will also allow you make a shopping plan beforehand for the best buys.

Meal planning before you shop is always a good idea, because it helps you save money. Figure out what you want to buy, but leave some room for a few unplanned purchases, just in case you find a new or unusual vegetable that you would like to try.

Hit up the ATM before you go. Having cash on hand will make it easier to make purchases at farmers’ markets. Don’t expect every vendor to have a mobile credit card reader. Carry small bills and some change to make exchanges go more quickly. Plus, cash can help you with bargaining, as well.

At the market

Go as soon as the market opens if you want to get the best produce. Items like meat and seafood, for instance, sell out very quickly. Going early will also help you avoid the large crowds. However, if you want the best deals, you should go at the end of the day. That’s when vendors are trying to sell off inventory instead of having to pack it up and transport it home.

Bring your own bags. Some, but not all of the vendors will offer a bag, but those bags are usually small and flimsy. Experienced shoppers will bring a backpack or small, wheeled cart to keep their hands free for things like squeezing produce.

Buying in bulk can save you some money. Many vendors are willing to give you a good deal if you’re willing to offload a crate of strawberries rather than just a baggie full, for example. Eat as many fresh fruits and veggies as you are able, and then freeze, dehydrate or can the rest.

There’s usually more than one vendor selling an item. Don’t buy everything from the first booth you see. Shop around. Try samples, if available. Once you’ve made the rounds and weighed your options, you’ll be able to make an informed decision based on price and taste.

Talk to the farmers. They can help you pick out the best items and teach you how to determine ripeness. Discuss how to best prepare their produce, as well. You may find a new recipe that you love.

And finally, stash a cooler in your car if you plan to shop a while or have a long drive home. This will help the produce maintain freshness from the farmers’ market to your kitchen table.

Happy shopping!

America First Credit Union kicks off the new season with low-rate auto loans, daily prizes during “The Sweet Taste of Summer”

For Immediate Release:

Riverdale, UTAH (June 20, 2017)

The summer season is officially underway and Utah’s largest credit union, America First Credit Union, is celebrating with low-rate auto loans for its members all season long. “The Sweet Taste of Summer” also offers 60 days of no payments on all new auto loans and gives members a chance to win loan payments up to $300 and interest-free auto loans with daily drawings.

Helping members cool down in the summer sun, America First will park its newly-branded ice cream truck on-site at various community events throughout Utah, celebrating “The Sweet Taste of Summer” with popsicle treats for attendees.

America First is Utah’s leading car loan provider with low interest percentages and affordable monthly payments. To join in on “The Sweet Taste of Summer,” get a low-rate auto loan online at www.americafirst.com or by calling 1-800-999-3961.

The contest runs now through August 31, 2017. Members can receive one entry for every $1,000 financed through the campaign dates. Winners will be selected daily, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Entrants must be 18 years of age or older. Visit the nearest America First branch to be financed and entered to win. For more information and official rules, visit www.americafirst.com, find America First Credit Union on Facebook, Twitter, or follow @AmericaFirst on Instagram and Pinterest.

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About America First Credit Union:
As the largest credit union in the state of Utah, America First boasts a long-standing history and 78 years servicing members and has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country while remaining a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 123 locations and is the 11th largest credit union in assets in the United States with more than $8.8 billion and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 846,000 members.

Contact:

America First Credit Union
Nicole Cypers
C: 801-726-9480
ncypers@americafirst.com

Quillin Advertising, Public Relations & Social Media
Melanie Devries
D: 702-506-0828
mdevries@quillinlv.com

financial tips

Financial Tips from Fathers

Father’s Day is approaching, and since we had such a good time talking about money with moms, we decided to ask some local dads for some advice. We hope you enjoy these financial tips from fathers.

Rob

Live within your means — spend less than you earn. Avoid debt like the plague that it can be. Always set aside at least some savings from each paycheck. Learn to be happy within your means — it’s actually quite easy to be happy on any income and it’s nearly impossible to be happy when burdened by debt. You always have a car payment. If not to your financial institution, then to yourself. Cars depreciate and eventually are worth nothing. If you have been making a car payment to yourself, then you can pay cash for your next car. Don’t ever be fooled into thinking that you don’t have a car payment.

Doug

Give 10% to charity. Put 10% in savings. Add 10% to retirement. Live on the rest.

Dave

Buy a vehicle you can afford and do your own auto repairs. Don’t go into a lot of debt.

Spencer

Set aside 10% of your income to invest in a no-load, no transaction fee Index Fund (such as the S&P 500). If you invest just $100 per month at an average of 8% interest over 30 years, your $36,000 investment would be worth $105,761.32. Let your money work hard for you.

Chris

Do not spend it before you have it. Be patient.

Mark

Avoid debt at all costs. Learn how to make and follow a budget early — it will help you understand how you spend your money and assist you with spending and saving goals. Make a commitment early to always save 10%. Set thresholds you will never go below as you meet savings goals.

David

Most children learn by doing. Give them the opportunity to manage their own money. As they grow older, but before they leave for college, they should have more and more opportunities. Give them the responsibility to purchase certain things for themselves, such as clothes and personal hygiene items. If the child does not have the funds, don’t bail them out. Allow children to purchase things even if it looks like a total waste of money. That is how they will learn. Better to let them learn young than when they have a spouse and children of their own.